As soon as Cal lost to Oregon State 62-14 on the road on Saturday to complete a 3-9 season, its worst in 11 years, the question of coach Jeff Tedford’s future became the No. 1 issue.
Despite being Cal’s all-time leader in coaching victories and being responsible for bringing the Golden Bears back to national prominence, there’s a chance Tedford will be dismissed, and an announcement could come as soon as today.
Tedford met with athletic director Sandy Barbour on Sunday and a scheduled team meeting Sunday was pushed back until today, the Bay Area News Group reported on Twitter.
The problem for Tedford is that despite having winning records in his first eight seasons at Cal, the Golden Bears have had losing records two of the past three seasons and barely made it over the .500 mark in 2011 when they went 7-6. Plus, Cal football’s graduation rate was the worst in the conference in the latest statistics released by the NCAA, so that won’t help Tedford’s case.
This season was particularly disappointing for several reasons:
- The 3-9 record represents the second-worst Cal season since 1986. Only the 1-10 season in Tom Holmoe’s final year was worse in that span.
- The Cal program was clearly ahead of archrival Stanford just five years ago, but the Bears have slipped noticeably while Stanford has become a national power. Cal is 0-3 against Stanford the past three years.
- The Bears lost their final five games this season, and lost decisively in four of them.
The biggest knock on Tedford, who had established a reputation as a quarterback guru, has been his inability to find a top-flight QB at Cal since Aaron Rodgers left for the NFL.
Zach Maynard had his moments this year, but he was inconsistent, and his replacement, Allan Bridgford, did not look like someone capable of being a winning quarterback in the conference.
And quarterback will be the biggest issue next season as Maynard will be gone. Redshirt freshman Zach Kline figures to get a serious look in the spring. But whether Tedford is the one making that call remains to be seen.